The First Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Characterization and Performance

S. P. Ho, C. G. Pappas, J. Austermann, J. A. Beall, D. Becker, S. K. Choi, R. Datta, S. M. Duff, P. A. Gallardo, E. Grace, M. Hasselfield, S. W. Henderson, G. C. Hilton, J. Hubmayr, B. J. Koopman, J. V. Lanen, D. Li, J. McMahon, F. Nati, M. D. NiemackP. Niraula, M. Salatino, A. Schillaci, B. L. Schmitt, S. M. Simon, S. T. Staggs, J. R. Stevens, J. T. Ward, E. J. Wollack, E. M. Vavagiakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive receiver for the 6-m Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and measures the small angular scale polarization anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The full focal plane is composed of three detector arrays, containing over 3000 transition edge sensors (TES detectors) in total. The first two detector arrays, observing at 146 GHz, were deployed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The third and final array is composed of multichroic pixels sensitive to both 90 and 146 GHz and saw first light in February 2015. Fabricated at NIST, this dichroic array consists of 255 pixels, with a total of 1020 polarization sensitive bolometers and is coupled to the telescope with a monolithic array of broad-band silicon feedhorns. The detectors are read out using time-division SQUID multiplexing and cooled by a dilution refrigerator at 110 mK. We present an overview of the assembly and characterization of this multichroic array in the lab, and the initial detector performance in Chile. The detector array has a TES detector electrical yield of 85 %, a total array sensitivity of less than 10 μ Ks, and detector time constants and saturation powers suitable for ACT CMB observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-567
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • ACTPol
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Multichroic
  • Polarization
  • Transition edge sensors


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